Texting while driving is still a far too common occurrence, even though this dangerous behavior has been against the law in Minnesota – and just about every other state in the country – for several years. This form of distracted driving can result in catastrophic injuries, as well as tragic deaths.
Sand Law attorneys have a great deal of experience helping victims of car accidents caused by others who insisted on texting while they were behind the wheel. If you would like to learn more about how we may be able to help, please contact us online or give us a call at 651-291-7263 for a free consultation.
U.S. & Minnesota Texting While Driving Statistics
There are a lot of people who simply can’t stop using their smartphones – even when they know doing so could pose a danger to others on the road. This epidemic only continues to grow in scope. It’s estimated that, at any given moment, nearly 700,000 drivers in the U.S. use a smartphone while driving. Texting while driving reportedly results in 400 fatal accidents each year.
Minnesota drivers are definitely not immune to the problem. Officers wrote about 10,000 citations for texting while driving in 2018 alone, and more than 40% of Minnesotans admit they do it on a regular basis. An astoundingly high 85% percent said they either make or receive phone calls while operating a motor vehicle.
As long as these numbers stay high, so will the risk of devastating accidents that lead to horrible consequences.
Texting While Driving is Against the Law
Texting while driving has been illegal in Minnesota for a long time – 2008, to be exact. It doesn’t matter if you’re stopped at a red light or stuck in traffic. You’re simply not allowed to text while you’re operating a motor vehicle. In 2019, Minnesota also made it illegal to hold a phone while driving. You basically have to use your phone in a hands-free fashion, with a few exceptions.
For example, you can touch your phone once to activate your smartphone in order to make a call, or to send someone a voice text. Touching your phone multiple times, such as dialing a number, is prohibited.
Types of Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving
Distracted driving can result in many different kinds of accidents. Here are just a few.
- Rear-end collisions – When someone has their head down while texting, they will have no way to know if someone ahead of them has had to stop suddenly. They’ll almost always strike the rear of that vehicle as a result. Rear-end collisions can lead to severe neck and head injuries that can result in permanent disabilities.
- Side-impact collisions – Also commonly referred to as “T-bone” collisions, this kind of accident most often occurs at intersections. Oftentimes they occur as the result of people who are so focused on texting that they don’t realize they’re about to run a red light or a stop sign. They will then plow into the side of another vehicle as a result.
- Head-on collisions – This is probably the worst type of car accident, because the forces associated with this type of crash are typically much stronger. Head-on collisions will usually result in severe injuries and deaths. Texting while driving can definitely be a contributing factor.
Were You Injured By a Driver Who Was Texting? Here’s What to Do Next
If you’ve been in any kind of car accident, there are a lot of things you’ll need to keep in mind. The first thing to do, of course, will be to get whatever medical attention you may need. The faster you get medical help, the better your chances will be of making a complete recovery.
But if a negligent driver caused the accident by texting and driving, you’ll also need to act in order to prove that negligence. That will be your best opportunity to obtain maximum compensation. One essential step will be to get a copy of the police report. You could conceivably file a claim without one, but having a report could really help strengthen your case. It could show that the other driver received a ticket for texting while behind the wheel.
Another important thing to remember is to see if there were any witnesses. If possible, get their contact information and a written statement. Someone might have seen the negligent driver texting. That testimony could make all the difference in your case. If you can’t get statements, yet you know that there were witnesses, try to at least get their contact information. Your attorney will get in touch with them to find out what they saw.
You’ll also really need to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. There are a lot of things your legal representative can do that you probably won’t be able to do on your own. For instance, an attorney could obtain cell phone records that will show the negligent driver was sending a text at the time of the crash. These records could include printouts of any texts, as well as logs of any calls that were being made.
Contact a Minnesota Car Accident Attorney ASAP
It’s impossible to understate the importance of hiring an experienced attorney. If you want to have the best chance of obtaining maximum compensation, you’ll need legal representation. Sand Law attorneys have consistently been rated among the best personal injury attorneys in Minnesota. We have the skill, the experience and the resources to build the strongest case possible on your behalf.
But it’s not enough to hire an attorney. You’ll have to do it as quickly as you can. The reason is that your Sand Law attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into the accident. Road conditions can change very fast after a wreck has occurred. Rain can wash away skid marks, and construction can also alter the accident scene. Witnesses may not be able to remember details, or might no longer be willing to talk.